What’s a “wallet group”? It’s a singularly spectacular proof target that entitles its bearer to bragging rights. The wallet group may or may not have been shot in competition, and, by definition, it may not be repeatable. But it exists as incontrovertible proof that, at least once, the stars aligned, and the wind gods smiled on the shooter.
Five Shots in 0.178 MOA at 1000 Yards
A few years ago, Forum member and F-Class shooter Gary Wood was testing his 6.5-284 rifle at the 1000-yard range in Coalinga, California, getting ready for an upcoming long range match. In practice, Gary nailed a witnessed 1.859″ five-shot group, with four of the five shots well under an inch. Use this as proof to win those club-house arguments about whether it is possible to shoot “in the ones” at 1000 yards. Gary’s group worked out to 0.178 MOA!
Gary reports: “I was load testing with 5-shot groups. Each group was shot on a new F-Class center and pulled by Ret. Master Chief Jerry Pullens and spotted by an other long-range shooter. The second 5-shot load group looked really small … by our reckoning four out of five shots measured under an inch. I was amazed. What’s more, when I shot the group, the 4th shot blew the spindle out of the 3rd shot. My spotter saw that in his scope and Jerry Pullens told me about it afterwards”.
As measured with the OnTarget Software, using a scan of the target, Gary plotted the group size at 1.859″ total for five shots, or 0.178 MOA. Gary noted: “I had everyone sign the target which I saved and photographed.” Yes, Gary, this may be the wallet group to end all wallet groups. You should have that target framed.
Gary’s Load and 6.5-284 Rifle Specs
Gary’s load was 48.0 grains of Hodgdon H4350 and CCI BR-2 primers, pushing 142gr Sierra MKs, in Lapua 6.5-284 brass. The rifle features an F-Class, single-shot Surgeon action with a Bartlein 5R barrel chambered with a no-turn neck. Gary says “The barrel only has 70 rounds through it… yep, I think it will shoot.” Gary did all of the gunsmithing and barrel work himself.
Did Gary have any special reloading tricks? Apparently not: “Other than weighing the cases and the powder very carefully, there really were no magical reloading secrets used. The Sierra 142s were moly-coated straight from the box of 500, but they were not weighed or checked for bearing surface. The powder was dropped with a RCBS ChargeMaster then checked with an Acculab scale (to under a tenth). The Lapua cases were not neck-turned, but I did weight-sort them. The five cases for the small group weighed: 195.05, 195.03, 195.03, 195.03, 195.01.”
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One of our Forum Members has a .308 Win load that dips into the transonic speed range at 1000 yards. He is concerned that his bullets may lose accuracy as they slow to transonic speeds: “My target is at 1000 yards. How important to accuracy is it to keep the bullet supersonic (Mach 1.2) all the way to the target? How does slowing to transonic speeds in the last 100 yards or so affect accuracy?”
TargetShooter Magazine and AccurateShooter.com contributor Laurie Holland offers some practical answers to this important question, based on his his experience with .223 and .308-caliber bullets.
Thoughts on Accuracy and Transonic Bullet Speeds by Laurie Davidson.
There is no simple answer to the question “How do transonic speeds affect accuracy”. Some bullets manage OK, some not so well, some fail entirely, and I’ve never seen a guide as to which models do and which don’t. But we do have the ‘boat-tail angle rule’, anyway. Bryan Litz says the ideal boat-tail angle is 7-9°. Go much above 10° and it’s too steep for the air to follow the bullet sides around to the base. This seems to manifest itself as much increased drag and turbulence leading to instability in transonic flight.
It is this effect that has led to the common advice of “Don’t use 168gr 30-caliber bullets at 1000 yards”. That is misleading advice as it resulted from use of the 168gr Sierra ‘International’ (aka MatchKing) bullet with its 13-deg BT angle. (This was, originally, a specialized 300m design — there are various near copies on the market from Speer, Hornady and Nosler.) By contrast, Berger 168-grainers are designed as long-range bullets with 8.9, 8.5 and a really nice 7° angle on the BT, VLD and Hybrid respectively. Hornady A-Max 30-cal projectiles (other than the 208-grainer) fall into this enforced shorter-range bracket too thanks to their 12.6° (and greater) boat-tail angles. (155gr = 13.5°, 168gr = 12.87°, and 178gr = 12.6°.)
Even this boat-tail angle ‘rule’ doesn’t always seem to apply. Many older long-range Service Rifle shooters talk about good results at 1000 yards with some batches of 7.62mm match ammo in their 20″-barreled M14s using the 168gn SMK. I’ve successfully used Hornady and Sierra 168s at 1000 yards in 30-cal magnums which drive the bullets fast enough to keep out of trouble at this distance. This is still not recommended of course thanks to their low BCs compared to better long-range speciality bullets.
These four photos show the substantial changes in the shock ware and turbulence patterns for the same bullet at different velocities. The “M” stands for Mach and the numerical value represents the velocity of the bullet relative to the speed of sound at the time of the shot. Photos by Beat Kneubuehl.
Transonic Issues with .223 Rem in F-TR
I was much exercised by [concerns about transonic instability] in the early days of F-Class, when I was shooting a .223 Rem with 80-grainers at 2,800 fps MV or even a bit less. Even the optimistic G1 ballistic charts of the time said they’d be subsonic at 1000 yards. (Bryan Litz’s Point Mass Ballistic Solver 2.0′s program says 1,078 fps at 1000 yards at 2,800 fps MV in standard conditions for the SMK; below 1.2 MACH beyond a point somewhere around 780 yards.) In fact they shot fine in a large range of conditions apart from needing around 60% more windage allowance than 6.5mm projectiles [shot with a larger cartridge]. The biggest problem apart from my wind-reading skills was constantly getting out of the rhythm to call to have the target pulled as the pits crew didn’t hear the subsonic bullets and had trouble seeing their little holes.
In the early days of F-TR I used a 24″ barrel factory tactical rifle that was billed as F-TR ready — it wasn’t! The much touted 175gr Sierra MatchKing, as used in the US military M118LR sniper round, was allegedly good at 1000 yards at .308 velocities — but it wasn’t! It would group OK in [some calm] conditions, but any significant change would cause a much greater deflection on the target than the ballistic charts predicted, so transonic flight was obviously making it barely stable. I also suspect conditions on the day had a big effect as Litz’s program says [the 175gr SMK] is just subsonic at 2,650 fps MV at 1,000 in standard conditions. Throw in MV spread and there was a risk of some round remaining supersonic, while others went transonic. Plus warmer or colder air moving onto the range under some conditions might change things.
I used the combination on Scotland’s notorious Blair Atholl range at 1000 yards in one competition in a day of cold headwinds from the north and frequent rain squalls. The temperatures plummeted during the squalls (and the wind went mad too!) and what was an ‘interesting group pattern’ outside of squall conditions changed to seeing me do well to just stay on the target frame at all. On ranges other than Blair (which is electronic, so no pits crew), target markers reported they heard faint supersonic ‘crack’ and saw round holes on the paper, so the bullets appeared to remain stable and just supersonic in summer shooting conditions.
Transonic Problems with M118LR 7.62×51 Ammo
Confirmation of this transonic performance phenomenon has since come from USMC snipers who say the M118LR’s performance ‘falls off a cliff’ beyond 800m (875 yards), which is just what I found when shooting the bullet at slightly higher than M118LR muzzle velocities. A move to the 190gr SMK with Vihtavuori N550 keeping the MVs reasonable gave a vast improvement in 1000-yard performance.
Practical Advice — Use a Bullet That Stays Supersonic
The ‘easy’ / better answer to all this is to use a design such as the 30-caliber, 185gr Berger LRBT with a reputation for good long range performance and to load it to achieve or exceed 1,350 fps at 1000 yards. If I can get the combination I’m using to be predicted to hold 1,400 fps at this range in a G7-based program calculation, I’m happier still.
Incidentally, the old long-range, 30-cal Sierra bullets (the venerable 190gr, 200gr, and 220gr MatchKings), with their extra length boat-tail sections, have a superb reputation for stable transonic / subsonic flight. They were used by GB and British Commonwealth ‘Match Rifle’ shooters at 1000, 1100, and 1200 yards for many years before the current bunch of 210gr and up VLDs and Hybrids appeared.
Transonic vs. Supersonic
The term “Transonic” refers to velocities in the range of Mach 0.8 to 1.0, i.e. 600–768 mph. It is formally defined as the range of speeds between the critical Mach number, when some parts of the airflow are supersonic, and a higher speed, typically near Mach 1.2, when the vast majority of the airflow is supersonic. Instability can occur at transonic speeds. Shock waves move through the air at the speed of sound. When an aircraft goes transonic and approaches the speed of sound, these shock waves build up in front of it to form a single, very large shock wave. This is dramatically illustrated in this Space Shuttle photo.
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To understand the heart and mind of a champion, watch this video profiling Jessie Duff, a 27-time world pistol shooting champion. Jessie is one of the hardest-working athletes in the shooting game. Jessie is America’s “leading lady” — perhaps the winningest female pistol shooter in the game today. The drive and dedication that has made Jessie a success are revealed in this video from Weatherby.
Jessie Duff’s Will to Win
Jessie explains how hard work brings titles: “To prepare for a championship, I’m on the range constantly.
My office is the gun range — that’s where I do my work.
I travel the country pullin’ the trigger, makin’ brass, smelling gunsmoke. I have to make sure that I’m in control because… there is no other person on the line with me, helping pull the trigger.
I have to pay attention to my foot placements, my set-ups, my positions, gettin’ the gun clean out of the holster, my reloads. I can’t think about it when I’m shooting. I can’t think about these small things. I have to focus on the sights and pulling the trigger. It’s just me and the gun.
[When] I step out on to the range, I simply have to be perfect — I have to be the best… I won’t settle for anything less.”
First-Ever Female Grand Master
Jessie Duff is the first woman in history to earn the title of USPSA Grand Master (GM), the highest rating conferred by the U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). To earn this prestigious ranking, Duff had to maintain an average above 95% in shooting classification courses, something never before achieved by a lady shooter. Jessie finished 2013 with a 95.39% average.
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Never had a chance to hunt prairie dogs in the American west? Then check out this video. Dan Eigen (aka “Walleye Dan”), host of the We Love It Outdoors Television series, head to South Dakota for some varmint hunting. Dan teams up with Varmint Hunter Association President Jeff Rheborg to patrol some South Dakota Dogtowns where things get serious. In the video, you’ll see p-dog hits at distances from 70 yards to roughly 450 yards. The hunters were shooting from portable, wood-topped swivel rests, using AR-platform rifles on X-type sandbag rest. (Rifle zeroing session is shown at the 5:30+ mark.)
Multiple cameras were employed so you can see both the shooter’s POV and close-ups of the prairie dogs downrange. Watch the shooters having fun with a prairie dog cut-out and some Tannerite at the 9:00-minute mark. This guys are having a grand old time sending critters to Prairie Dog Heaven — we think you’ll enjoy the video.
Prairie Dog Hunting Starts at 2:00 Time-Mark in Video:
NOTE: This video actually covers three sequences: 1) Three-gun training; 2) Prairie Dog Hunting; and 3) Coyote Hunting. We’ve embedded the video so it plays back the Prairie Dog segment from 2:00 to 15:15. If you wish, you can slide the controls forward or back to watch the other segments.
Video found by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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Brass jags perform well for their intended purpose — with one hitch. Strong copper solvents can actually leech metal from the jag itself, leaving the tell-tale blue tint on your patches. This “false positive” can be frustrating, and may lead shooters to over-clean their barrels.
Gunslick Nylon Spire-Point Jags
There are now some good alternatives to brass jags. The best may be the Gunslick® Nylon Snap-Lock™ jags shown at right. These never leave a “false positive”. A while back, Larry Bartholome, past USA F-Class Team Captain told us: “The best spear-type jags I have used are the GunSlick black nylon tips. I have used the model 92400 for the last couple years in my 6BR and 6.5-284s. Unlike the white plastic jags, these are strong and there’s no brass to worry about.” You can purchase these nylon jags directly from GunSlick just $1.49 each. At that price, they’re worth a try.
#92400 for 22 through 270 calibers: $1.49
#92421 for 30 through 375/8mm calibers: $1.49
#92423 for 38 through 38/9mm calibers: $1.49
Tipton Nickel-Coated Jags
If you prefer a metal jag, consider the Tipton Nickel-coated Ultra Jags, sold both individually and as a boxed set. All Tipton nickel-plated jags have 8-32 thread, except for the .17 caliber jag which has a 5-40 thread. The vast majority of user reviews have been very positive. A few guys have complained that the nickel-plated Tipton jags run oversize, but we use a .22-caliber jag in our 6mms anyway, so this hasn’t been a problem for us. The 6mm (.243 caliber) nickel-plated jag (MidwayUSA item 259834) costs $4.79. The complete 12-jag set, covering .17 to .45 calibers, including a flip-top carry case, is offered by Midsouth Shooters Supply for $17.56 (Midsouth item 094-500012).
For a couple dollars more, you can get the new-style, 12-Jag Kit from MidwayUSA (Midway item, 812503, $19.99). This features an easy-to-use, clear-topped fitted caddy that can lie flat on your bench, or be attached vertically (to save space).
Clear-Coating Your Brass Jags
If you’re reluctant to give up your collection of brass jags (after all they’ve worked pretty well so far), try covering the jag itself with a thin, transparent coating. Forum Member BillPA says: “I give the brass jags a coat of clear lacquer or acrylic; that works for me”. You may need to experiment to find a coating that stands up to your favorite solvent. BillPA says: “The only solvent I’ve found that eats the lacquer off is TM Solution. Butch’s, Shooter’s Choice, or Wipe-Out don’t seem to bother it. Most of the time I use rattle-can clear lacquer”. If you’re feeling creative, you could even color-code your jags by adding tints to the clear-coat.
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Put the same load in a variety of barrels (with the same length and chamberings) and you’ll see a wide variance in muzzle velocity. In fact, it’s not unusual to see up to 100 fps difference from one barrel to the next. We demonstrated this with a comparison test of Lapua factory ammo.
Chron Testing Lapua Factory Ammo
At our Southern California test range, we chronographed Lapua 105gr 6mmBR factory ammo in three different 8-twist barrels of similar length. The results were fascinating. Lapua specs this ammo at 2790 fps, based on Lapua’s testing with its own 26″ test barrel. We observed a speed variance of 67 fps based on tests with three aftermarket barrels.
Brand ‘S’ and Brand ‘PN’ were pre-fit barrels shot on Savage actions. Brand ‘K’ was fitted to a custom action. All test barrels were throated for the 100-108 grain bullets, though there may have been some slight variances in barrel freebore. With a COAL of 2.330″, the rounds were “jumping” to the rifling in all barrels. Among the four barrels, Brand ‘PN’ was the fastest at 2824 fps average — 67 fps faster than the slowest barrel. Roughly 10 fps can be attributed to the slightly longer length (27″ vs. 26″), but otherwise this particular barrel was simply faster than the rest. (Click Here for results of 6mmBR Barrel Length Velocity Test).
Results Are Barrel-Specific, Not Brand-Specific
These tests demonstrate that the exact same load can perform very differently in different barrels. We aren’t publishing the barrel-makers’ names, because it would be wrong to assume that ‘Brand X’ is always going to be faster than ‘Brand Y’ based on test results from a single barrel. In fact, velocities can vary up to 100 fps with two identical-spec barrels from the SAME manufacturer. That’s right, you can have two 8-twist, 26″ barrels, with the same land-groove configuration and contour, from the same manufacturer, and one can be much faster than another.
Don’t Demand More Than Your Barrel Can Deliver
We often hear guys lament, “I don’t get it… how can you guys get 2900 fps with your 6BRs and I can only get 2840?” The answer may simply be that the barrel is slower than average. If you have a slow barrel, you can try using more powder, but there is a good chance it may never run as fast as an inherently fast barrel. You shouldn’t knock yourself out (and over-stress your brass) trying to duplicate the velocities someone else may be getting. You need to work within the limits of your barrel.
Factory Ammo Provides a Benchmark
If you have a .223 Rem, 6BR, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5×55, .308 Win, 30-06, or 300 WM Rifle, we recommend you buy a box of Lapua factory-loaded ammo. This stuff will shoot great (typically around half-MOA), and it can give you a baseline to determine how your barrel stacks up speedwise. When you complete a new 6BR rifle, it’s wise to get a box of the factory ammo and chronograph it. That will immediately give you a good idea whether you have a slow, average, or fast barrel. Then you can set your velocity goals accordingly. For example, if the factory 6BR ammo runs about 2780-2790 fps in your gun, it has an average barrel. If it runs 2820+ in a 26″ barrel (or 2835 fps in a 28″), you’ve got a fast tube.
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If you want to see how a muzzle brake really works, definitely watch this remarkable slow-motion video compiled by Proof Research.
This amazing video features a variety of firearms: suppressed 9mm pistol, .338 Norma rifle, .300 WinMag rifle, 12ga comp’d shotgun, plus an AR15 and AR10.
This Must-Watch Video Has Some Amazing Ultra-Slow-Motion Segments
Watch the ultra-slow motion segment at the 2:55 mark and you can actually see a .30-cal bullet spin its way through the muzzle brake, leaving trail of flame that blows out the ports. Interestingly, at the 3:10 mark, you can also see a bright “afterburn” ball of fire that forms a few inches ahead of the muzzle milliseconds after the bullet has left the barrel. Perhaps this is late ignition of unburned powder?
Given the high cost of reloading components, and how difficult it is to find rimfire ammo these days, many shooters are looking seriously at air rifles, at least for short-range training and plinking. Air rifle shooting is quiet and fun. Plus there is a virtually inexhaustible supply of free air on the planet. Airguns are increasing in popularity for many reasons including cost factors, powder and ammo shortages, and tighter restrictions on centerfire guns. How popular have airguns become? Consider this — it is estimated that over TEN MILLION airguns will be purchased in the U.S. in 2015. That’s a huge number.
If you’re interested in air-gunning, there’s a new resource that covers air-gunning from A to Z. Hard Air Magazine is a new, one-stop destination for everything airgun related. The free online magazine is devoted entirely to airguns and associated products. Unlike other airgun media, Hard Air Magazine is not tied to one distributor or manufacturer. “We cover the entire spectrum of products through objective editorial, illustration and videos,” says Hard Air founder Stephen Archer.
Team of Expert Airgunners Provide Product Reviews
Many consumers research their airgun purchases on the Internet. Helping consumers make smart purchases is the mission of Hard Air Magazine. Archer explains: “Our goal with Hard Air Magazine is to offer balanced, instructive information to people purchasing airguns and accessories. Fact-based, detailed product reviews are at the heart of Hard Air Magazine. We’ve put together a phenomenal team of product testers with over 100 years of combined experience in airgun shooting. These are genuine enthusiasts who have spent their lifetimes shooting airguns and truly understand what makes one better than another.”
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Here is a simple technique that can potentially help you load straighter ammo, with less run-out. It costs nothing and adds only a few seconds to the time needed to load a cartridge. Next time you’re loading ammo with a threaded (screw-in) seating die, try seating the bullet in two stages. Run the cartridge up in the seating die just enough to seat the bullet half way. Then lower the cartridge and rotate it 180° in the shell-holder. Now raise the cartridge up into the die again and finish seating the bullet.
Steve, aka “Short Range”, one of our Forum members, recently inquired about run-out apparently caused by his bullet-seating process. Steve’s 30BR cases were coming out of his neck-sizer with good concentricity, but the run-out nearly doubled after he seated the bullets. At the suggestion of other Forum members, Steve tried the process of rotating his cartridge while seating his bullet. Steve then measured run-out on his loaded rounds. To his surprise there was a noticeable reduction in run-out on the cases which had been rotated during seating. Steve explains: “For the rounds that I loaded yesterday, I seated the bullet half-way, and turned the round 180 degrees, and finished seating the bullet. That reduced the bullet runout by almost half on most rounds compared to the measurements from the first test.”
Steve recorded run-out measurements on his 30BR brass using both the conventional (one-pass) seating procedure, as well as the two-stage (with 180° rotation) method. Steve’s measurements are collected in the two charts above. As you can see, the run-out was less for the rounds which were rotated during seating. Note, the change is pretty small (less than .001″ on average), but every little bit helps in the accuracy game. If you use a threaded (screw-in) seating die, you might try this two-stage bullet-seating method. Rotating your case in the middle of the seating process won’t cost you a penny, and it just might produce straighter ammo (nothing is guaranteed). If you do NOT see any improvement on the target, you can always go back to seating your bullets in one pass. READ Forum Thread….
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Story based on report by Lars Dalseide forNRABlog
A strong argument can be made that Robert Vadasz is the greatest law enforcement pistol shooter of all time — in this galaxy or any other. This past week Border Patrolman Vadasz captured an unprecedented sixth NRA National Police Shooting Championship (NPSC). That’s five in a row for Robert, and six titles in the last seven years. How do you spell dominance? V-A-D-A-S-Z.
Robert Vadasz Blazes his Way to a Sixth NPSC Title.
This year Robert had to overcome a jammed pistol in one of his relays, but he still managed to shoot top score for the day and finished with the highest Grand Aggregate, 56 points ahead of the next-best competitor. The NPSC involves a variety of timed, action shooting events for revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, and police shotguns.
400+ Competitors at NPSC
The competition began on September 14th and wrapped up yesterday (the 18th) with the team championships. Shooters vying for the overall title take part in sixteen different individual matches in four separate categories: Open Class Revolver, Open Class Semi-Automatic Pistol, Individual Service Pistol, and Law Enforcement Shotgun. More than 400 law enforcement officers from across the globe gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico to take part in the competition.
Vadasz shot well in all the different events. For example, in the Open Class Revolver Championship, Vadasz scored 1498 out of 1500 possible points, a near perfect performance. That score, along with his 1495 total from the Open Class Semi-Automatic Championship, gave the Border Patrol Agent another title — the Open Class 3000.
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Think Vegas in January, baby — yes, we’re talkin’ about SHOT Show (Jan. 20-23, 2015). Registration for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s 2015 SHOT Show is now open for all attendees. Register now at Shotshow.org. The SHOT Show hotel booking system is also active. It’s a good idea to reserve rooms early to get the best rates. SHOT Show organizers have negotiated deeply discounted rates at dozens of Las Vegas hotels, with prices as low as $45 per night.
Scheduled for January 20-23 in Las Vegas, the big gun industry convention is just four months away. While registering, attendees can add Industry Dinner tickets, enroll in SHOT Show University, and/or sign up for other educational offerings. Registration for members of the press will open later this week.
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Report by Dick Grosbier for IBS
Over the weekend of September 13-14, 2014, the Ashe County Wildlife Club of Laurel Springs, North Carolina hosted the 44th annual IBS 100/200 Score Nationals. Sixty-two shooters were on the line for the event, including many record holders and major match winners.
The shooters traveled from as far away as Florida, Wisconsin, and Maine. Considering the miserable weather forecast for Saturday it was really a pretty nice day. We did have rain but thanks to the way the roof overhangs the firing line (photo below) the competitors stayed dry, only the target crew got wet. In spite of this they did an excellent job — they were fully prepared as the forecast was for a very high percentage chance of rain. Saturday got into the high 70s and actually got a little muggy. Sunday was overcast cooler and little if any rain fell.
This was my third visit to Ashe County this year and I must say it gets better each time. They have a great crew of people and a wonderful facility. There are 30 covered benches located next to a very large (40’x160’) reloading, scoring, dining, and clubhouse facility. The entire range is built on the side of a big hill. They have literally moved thousands of cubic yards of dirt (50,000+) to build this facility.
Breeden Busts Record — 1000-59X Two-Gun Total May Be Best Ever!
This year’s IBS Score Nationals saw a performance for the ages. Dean Breeden put together one of the most impressive feats of score shooting in history. Dean’s Two-Gun total score (for VFS and Hunter) was a stunning 1000-59X. This is a pending new Two-Gun IBS world record. Think about that — this means that Dean did not drop a single point through twenty (20) total matches (i.e. 20 targets), while alternating between two different rifles, one with a puny 6-power scope! That’s 100 “Tens” in a row on 100 Bullseyes, without fail. That’s really a remarkable achievement. As least Dean does not have to console the old record-holder, because the pre-existing record, 1000-52X, was set by (you guessed it), Mr. Dean Breeden. In besting his own record by seven Xs, Breeden won the Two-Gun award at this year’s IBS Score Nationals and earned a new entry in the record books. Congrats to Dean!
Bullet-maker Randy Robinett was amazed at Breeden’s 1000-59X performance. “Some years ago, I held the Two-Gun score record with a 999-52X. What Dean has accomplished with his 1000-59X is truly noteworthy — this really is a BIG deal. Let me tell you, getting 1000 points is really hard to do. You have to switch between two different rifles, and adjust from a high-power scope to a 6X scope, changing rests and equipment all the time. This is very tough.”
Looking at the Equipment List (Editor’s Comment)
The Equipment List from the 2014 IBS Score Nationals is quite revealing. As you’d expect, this match was very much a 30-caliber affair, but we were surprised to see such dominance by cut-rifled barrels, and Hodgdon H4198 powder.
1. All of the Top 15 VFS shooters ran cut-rifled barrels. There were mostly Bartleins and Kriegers, with two Brux barrels and one Rock Creek.
2. Hodgdon H4198 is definitely the powder of choice, used by 14 of the Top 20 VFS shooters. Federal 205M primers were used by at least 13 of the Top 20 shooters.
3. Randy Robinett’s BIB bullets were the most popular, used by four of the Top 10 shooters.
4. Every VFS shooter and every Hunter Class shooter was running a 30-caliber cartridge. Most VFS shooters ran 30BRs, but the 30×47 cartridge was favored by half the Hunter shooters.
5. Two gunsmiths smithed six of the Top 10 rifles. Three were by Mike Niblett and three were by Sid Goodling (who also smithed #11 and #12).
6. BAT Machine actions are still #1. BAT actions were used by 14 of the Top 20 shooters.
Mike Niblett (above) had a typical VFS rig: BAT action, Krieger cut-rifled barrel, with a Nightforce 12-42X scope. Mike used H4198 of course, but he shot Hill bullets in his 30BR, rather than BIBs.
Many 250s with 20 or more Xs Shot on Saturday
Saturday, at 100 yards, it was the Kevin and K.L. show. Kevin Donalds Sr. and K.L. Miller took the lead in Varmint For Score, and Hunter classes respectively all day long. Kevin turned in a fine score of 250-22X followed closely by Dean Breeden with 250-21X. Dean was just barely short of the win all weekend in both classes. Mike Niblett was third with 250-20X, ahead of five other 250-20X scores based on tie-breaker. There were four 19X and eight 18X scores. K.L. Miller turned in a fine 250-18x score in Hunter Class followed closely by Peter Hills and Frank McKee (both with 250-16Xs). It was moderately windy and switchy all day and since the Nationals involve shooting each record match from a different bench you essentially faced a new set of conditions each time you came to the line.
‘Top Guns’ at the Score Nationals: Kevin Donald Sr., K.L. Miller, and Dean Breeden.
Sunday it was overcast and cooler but not as rainy. Anthony Isner stepped up and took the lead in VFS class turning in a fine 250-16X score. Second place went to, you guessed it, Dean Breeden. Dean’s 250-15X was followed closely by Kevin Donalds Sr. also with 15X. In Hunter class it was Randy Jarvais’s turn to win an Aggregate. Randy’s 250-9X score beat out Dean’s 250-8X and Miller’s 250-7X scores.
In the VFS Grand Aggregate, Kevin Donalds Sr. topped the field with 500-37X, followed by Dean Breeden with 500-36X, and Anthony Isner with 500-34X. K.L. Miller won the Hunter Grand Agg handily — his 500-25X easily topped Dean’s 500-23X and Randy’s 500-20X totals. The IBS 2-Gun award went to Dean Breeden with a record score of 1000-59X. This is a potential new 2-Gun record as he bested his own record by seven Xs.
Praise for the Match Organizers and Staff
All in all it was a very well run match at a great new facility. This was the first Nationals event to be held there but it will not be the last. Hats off to E.T. Weaver and his helpers. The target crew deserves special mention. They were very good and very fast. A match with full bench rotation can be a nightmare for any target crew but these guys handled it like old pros even though it was their first-ever attempt. Well done guys and gals!
The Ashe County Wildlife Club put on a great event, complete with delicious country Barbecue.
Photos Courtesy Clint Johnson and Dick Grosbier.
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